Which surgeon would you choose if it were you, your wife, or husband?

I am going for second consults with my two favorite plastic surgeons. They are both similar in technique, and I feel comfortable with both. They both said I would be a great candidate for Mommy Makeover. I'm a dentist & I don't think before/afters are a great basis on choosing because each case is different with unique variables. Basing it on schools they graduated I feel is a poor option too b/c horrible dr come from great schools and vice versa. What are your thoughts?

Doctor Answers 13

Finding the right surgeon

Hello and thank you for your question. It is very important that you thoroughly research your surgeon before committing to surgery. It is a good idea to research your surgeon's educational background, online reviews, before & after pictures, and speak with anyone who you may know who has had surgery with that surgeon. During your consultation, make sure that you don't feel rushed and make sure that you have adequate time with your surgeon and not just their patient coordinator or nurses. If the majority of your consultation is spent with someone other than the surgeon, this is usually not a good sign. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified expert surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon


New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Thank you for your excellent question.  A mommy makeover is a big procedure and you are wise to give extensive consideration to the surgeon you have perform your surgery.  As you know, starting with board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast and body contouring is only the beginning. It is great that you currently have two plastic surgeons you feel comfortable with. I speculate that after you have your second consultation with each, you will begin to feel more comfortable with one of them.

Although there can be similarities in techniques for surgeries, there can also be some fairly significant differences, too.  I would ask if post-surgical drains are routine for the tummy tuck. Most of our patients are very happy not to have post-surgical drains.  We have seen a decrease in seromas without using drains and patients often experience a quicker recovery. This is possible with a technique using progression tension sutures which keeps fluid from accumulating.  The Avelar technique is another tummy tuck method which combines liposuction with the tummy tuck, but also requires no drains and reduces seromas.  

In addition, for breast surgery there are many options regarding types of breast implants and incision options. The more options a plastic surgeon has to offer, the more customized your surgery will be.  We offer silicone gel, saline, and the Ideal structured saline breast implant as options for our patients.  I would also select a plastic surgeon who offers 3D imaging so that you are comfortable with your implant size.  There are also differences in terms of incision site.  We typically use a transaxillary approach which offers a very small incision underneath the armpit which leaves no scar on the breast itself.  Many plastic surgeons still make an incision under the breast in the fold. Recovery period and pain management are other considerations that may help you decide.  Many plastic surgeons offer rapid recovery programs that can be very helpful in terms of reducing downtime. 

I agree with you that before and after pictures are not a perfect tool for selecting a plastic surgeon, but I believe education & leadership, experience, ethics, patient reviews and communication skills are a great place to start.  Best of luck to you with your surgery. I hope this is helpful

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Which Surgeon?

Thank you for your question.
The most important thing to consider is that the plastic surgeon is #boardcertified.  After that, while you are correct, before and after photos are not always the most accurate depictions of results, you may be able to find differences in technique or surgical stylized results between the two #surgeons.  
In the end, you need to pick the surgeon who you feel best understands the exact #results you want from your #mommymakeover.
Best of luck.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Choosing the right Plastic Surgeon

I appreciate your concern. Key factors include Board Certification...in plastic surgery, not "cosmetic surgery board certification" which carries none of the clout of board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Other factors are reputation, experience and your comfort level with the surgeon. I agree not basing selection by medical school attended for the reasons you already supplied. Good luck!

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Choosing a surgeon

I would approach this slightly differently.  You are correct in your assessment that it it not purely about medical schools, etc.  You should have a sense from your consultation if the surgeon is comfortable performing the procedure, and understands your goals.  You should understand from the consult if the goals are realistic.

Most of the time, things go well - and there are few issues after surgery.  But ask yourself, if there are things with which you are not happy, or you have a complication, are you comfortable with the surgeon, and feel as if you can share your feelings/speak freely with the surgeon.  You are a team, in it together, until you are fully healed and recovered.  Who do you want on your team?

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Which surgeon would you choose if it were you, your wife, or husband?

Thank you for your question and for doing your research on your prospective surgeons.  It really is the most important decision for your mommy makeover.  There are a number of different variables, as you mentioned, that you should consider and below I am attaching a link that will supply you with information you may find useful.  Ultimately one of the most important considerations is which physician do you feel best understands the picture of your final results that you would like to obtain.  This ensures that the both of you are working towards the same goal.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Which surgeon would you choose if it were you, your wife, or husband?

Careful selection of plastic surgeon will be the most important  decision you make. Select  the plastic surgeon who, after very careful due diligence, you feel will most likely achieve an outcome that you will be pleased with.  Viewing lots of before/after photographs and/or talking to previous patients is helpful.  Best wishes. 

Choosing the right surgeon

I think you are wise to get more than one opinion before undergoing a big elective procedure.  It sounds like you've done your homework and have narrowed it down to two finalists.  

Things to look for when choosing a plastic surgeon are: board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, member of ASPS and ASAPS, lots of experience doing the procedures you are interested in, good before and after photos, good patient reviews, friendly and accommodating staff, doctor spends time with you to explain procedures and answer your questions.

If both surgeons can check all those boxes, then choose the one you are most comfortable with.  

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Choice of Surgeon

Every patient ultimately faces the question of which surgeon to choose for her/his operation.  Presumably you have heard positive recommendations/comments from trusted friends or family who have used one of the physicians.  If one of these individuals has had a similar condition or operation to yours, so much the better.  You are correct that each person's condition is different, but you want a surgeon that has a broad experience in your general type of surgery, and one with a good reputation for consistently good results with satisfied patients.  You should feel comfortable with the doctor's discussion regarding his/her assessment of your condition, recommended options, and his/her understanding of just what your goals are.  You should feel confidence in the doctor.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Candidate for a MM

Pregnancy and motherhood are wonderful and exciting times in a woman’s life. Many women, however, will experience unwanted permanent physical changes that are not always desirable. All too often, women find it emotionally and physically difficult to adjust to these new changes in their bodies affecting their self-esteem and personal self-image. These changes vary greatly and range from stretch marks and varicose veins to the more significant changes such as, smaller and sagging breasts, enlarged waist with redundant skin and larger hips.
Fortunately, there are many treatments available to correct or improve these common post-pregnancy changes. Many of these procedures are non-surgical or relatively simple outpatient surgeries. Some treatments are possible because of new technology such as lasers and liposuction developed in just the last few years. These surgeries are commonly known as the “mommy makeover”.

Far more important than deciding if a tummy tuck or a mommy makeover is for you is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let him explain why one technique may be better than another and if you need a tummy tuck. Many board certified plastic surgeons provide a free first time consult and you should take advantage of that!
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for you!
I have also attached a video for a possible Mommy Makeover Candidate.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.